Country music singer Kitty Wells has died at the age of 92.
The singer, known as “The Queen of Country”, passed away at her home in Nashville earlier today (July 16) following complications from a stroke.
Born in 1919, Wells began singing as a child and as a teenager performed with her sisters before going on to accompany her husband Johnnie Wright, who passed away last year. In 1949, Wells signed her own record deal with RCA but was dropped a year later.
However, in 1952 she released the hit single “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” on the Decca label and fast became the most popular female country singer in the States. Scroll down to watch her perform the song that made her name. She went on to record around 50 albums and was regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry.
In 1976 she became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the second woman to be given the honour, following Patsy Cline‘s posthumous induction in 1973.
Fellow country star Loretta Lynn has paid tribute to Wells, writing at Lorettalynn.com: “Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times. She was my hero. If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself. I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells. She truly is the Queen of Country Music.”
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Pic credit: Getty Images